In recent years Algeria has achieved real progress on both the social and economic fronts and has tangible results to show for it – particularly in agricultural and rural development where, in terms of both the scale and scope of initiatives, we have seen significant leaps forward. In the fields of industry and services, investment promotion policies have led not only to the creation of numerous small, medium-sized and micro enterprises across an array of segments, but also greater integration of such firms into national industrial supply chains. These efforts, and others like it, will allow for the creation of new jobs, most notably among the youth. For example, the social and economic pact approved on February 23, 2014 between the government, Union Générale des Travailleurs Algériens and employers’ organisations aims to strengthen the process of national development and economic growth so as to ensure a decent life for each citizen, within the framework of the rule of law and social justice, and with equal opportunities for employment.

The public and private sectors are both contributing actively to vocational training programmes, helping to ensure new graduates meet the needs of the labour market, and we are now in a position to build up a strong, modern economy. But it is necessary for the private and public sectors to continue to collaborate and improve productivity, combining high quality and cost-efficiency, as only that will allow for Algeria to better tap into international markets by exporting products beyond simply oil and gas. It is also imperative that these two sectors work together to ensure Algeria develops in a sustainable fashion. The majority of the Algerian workforce is made up of young graduates, many of them from universities, grandes écoles and other educational institutions, and they are seeking jobs that will allow them to participate in economic growth. In addition to providing training and employment support, we must ensure the ability of our youth to follow their own entrepreneurial instincts and make their own contributions to the development of the country.

These efforts all form part of the framework of initiatives that I have personally ordered the government to implement – all with a view to resolving the problem of unemployment throughout the country, but with a particular focus on the south. Indeed, in order to be successful, our efforts must also focus on combatting regional disparities. The next five-year public investment programme will encompass a number of new measures that target development in the southern and High Plains wilayas, as well as the mountainous regions. We will focus on enhancing the potential of agriculture, mining and tourism, among other areas. The state will continue to provide unconditional support for strategic sectors, whether to public or private investors. Given the importance of contributions from foreign partners in furthering our national development, particularly in terms of know-how and technology transfer, we will continue working to integrate our national economy with external markets, especially within our region.

In fact, the advancement of the Arab Maghreb Union remains a priority and we are open to contributing to help meet the conditions necessary for making this ambition a concrete reality. Algeria will continue to be an engaged member of the Arab League and of the African Union, and will help realise their objectives of supporting noble causes and working towards greater unity, fraternity and regional integration. The EU and our neighbours from around the Mediterranean will still find in our country a partner that meets its commitments and advocates for peace and security. We will always work towards a notion of cooperation that is based on mutual respect and shared interest.

Throughout the rest of the world, Algeria will continue to be loyal to and uphold the numerous partnerships and links of solidarity that have been built over the years with partners in Europe, Asia and throughout the Americas. The Algerian government will work with these governments to ensure a greater deepening of both the bonds of cooperation, as well as solidarity in pursuit of international peace and security.